Bloating is one of the most common problems that people complain about nowadays. The good news is that once you have determined what is causing your stomach to bloat, it is almost always treatable. Feeling bloated all the time can be quite unpleasant as it affects our self-esteem and the way we feel about our appearance. In some cases bloating can become severe enough that it causes distention or a perceptive swelling of the abdomen.
Some the most common reasons behind bloating include:
- Food intolerances
- Insulin resistance
- Irregular meals
- Intestinal yeast overgrowth
- Deficiency of digestive enzymes
- Gluten sensitivity/celiac disease
- Poor food combining
- Parasites or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
This article will explain each of the reasons mentioned above and how you can treat them to get rid of bloating.
1. Food intolerances
Food intolerances are postponed reaction to food, unlike food allergies that cause immediate itching, swelling or anaphylaxis. Food intolerances lead to immune stress and inflammation and irritate the intestinal tract causing bloating. The most common foods that can cause intolerances are dairy, eggs, certain fruits (banana, citrus, pineapple especially), sometimes nuts (almonds and peanuts are most common), wheat, gluten, corn or others.
Food intolerance is more common for people with a history of allergies, eczema, asthma or a family history of autoimmune disease, but can also be related to many other skin conditions, digestive disturbances, and low energy. After determining what causes your food intolerance, it will take 4 to 6 weeks for the bloating to stop after eliminating the aggravating foods.
2. Insulin resistance
Common symptoms of insulin resistance are increased appetite, weight gain (rapid in a period of 2-3 years), intense craving for sweets and carbohydrates, feeling tired and bloated after eating. Insulin is a hormone that is released by the pancreas because of glucose present in the blood.
Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body’s cells become resistant to the effect of insulin. Then the pancreas tries to produce more insulin until it can no longer produce enough insulin that the body demands. As a result of this one person can develop type 2 diabetes, which is a very serious health condition.
The positive side is that with diet changes and exercises this condition can be controlled. Avoid consuming foods rich in sugar and carbohydrate, eat more vegetables, fiber-rich foods, proteins and healthy fats. Exercising regularly is highly recommended.
3. Irregular meal times
Another common cause of bloating is eating whenever you can. When you spend long hours without meals and then overeat before bedtime, your digestion (and metabolism) will slow down. For example, when you skip breakfast and then have a large lunch will nearly always make you feel bloated – this comes as a shock to the digestive system, and will also increase blood sugar levels as well as the insulin levels. In the end, you will end up feeling bloated and tired.
You need to have regular and consistent meal times so our bodies could function adequately, and our digestive system will work better as well. Have breakfast within 1 hour after waking up, a regularly timed mid-day lunch, and dinner before 7 pm. Consume mid-morning and mid-afternoon snacks if you want.
4. Intestinal yeast overgrowth
In most cases, intestinal yeast overgrowth comes as a result of prolonged antibiotic use. Overuse of antibiotics can lead to changes in the digestive flora which allows yeasts to win the fight against good bacteria.
Too much yeast in your body will make you feel bloated and gassy. Gassiness is caused by yeasts that ferment food. There is also a possibility that some people will have a greater desire for sugar and carbs, fatigue, brain fog, vaginal yeast infections, binge eating disorder and perhaps fungal skin infections.
Luckily this condition is curable but you need to rebalance your intestinal flora and clean the yeasts with taking supplements against yeast, no-sugar diet, and restoring the intestinal flora with probiotics.
5. Deficiency of digestive enzymes
Deficiency of digestive enzymes may cause bloating. Enzymes are produced by the pancreas to help with the breakdown of proteins, carbohydrates, fats, and lactose. Deficiency occurs when the pancreas is not producing enough enzymes that the body needs and it can cause bloating pain, indigestion, and irregular bowel movements.
There are many reasons that can cause enzyme deficiency including chronic stress, overgrowth of bacteria and yeast, low stomach acid, aging, gluten intolerance. Lactose intolerance is also a form of enzyme deficiency, where the pancreas does not produce enough lactase enzymes to break down dairy products.
The temporal solution to this problem is to avoid dairy if you have lactose intolerance and to take digestive enzymes with your meals. However, the most important thing is to get to the root of the problem. You should treat any imbalances in order to encourage the production of sufficient enzymes.
6. Gluten sensitivity/celiac disease
Gluten intolerance and celiac disease are definitely on the rise, largely due to the great changes in wheat over the past 50 years, and also our high consumption of grain products. Many people with a gluten sensitivity will complain of bloating, with or without gassiness, constipation or diarrhea.
If you suspect that gluten may be a problem for you, a starting point is to do appropriate blood tests to confirm or to start a 5-week strict gluten-free trial. After 5 weeks strictly off gluten, it is important to challenge it back into your diet to clarify your reaction. There are so many great alternatives to gluten: rice, quinoa, millet, squash and sweet potato to name a few.
7. Poor food combinations
Numerous people do not know that food combining can also cause bloating. When you combine your food improperly it slows down your digestive process which can cause bloating. When it comes to combining food, the first rule is to eat your fruits alone, and not to combine them with other foods, especially proteins. For example, never eat melon or a fruit salad directly after a fish dinner.
Other combinations you should avoid is proteins and carbohydrates. Try separating your carbohydrates and proteins and see how it feels. You will be able to notice much more ease of digestion.
8. Parasites or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth
Numerous people also carry many pathogenic bacteria and even parasites in their digestive tracts. This happens mostly in people who travel (especially to Asia, Africa or South America), but even if you eat outside you can pick up some nasty germs. This digestive imbalance typically goes with diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss.
You can run some tests for bacterial proliferating and parasites with a suitable digestive stool analysis in order to find out what is in the intestines. Once the organism(s) are identified the treatment is then much simpler.
Many things can cause bloating, and this condition can be easily treated. It is not normal to need to loosen your pants every night after dinner or to be too bloated at the end of the day to go out and socialize.
While you search for the root cause of your bloating problem, you can also try this home remedy to treat the symptoms:
- 1 lemon
- 1 cucumber
- 1 tablespoon juice of aloe vera
- 1 tablespoon of grated ginger
- A bunch of parsley or cilantro
- 1/2 glass of water
Just put all these ingredients in a blender, make a mixture, and drink it.